spatial practice has designed the Harbin High Speed Railway (HSR) west train station Twin Towers. The iconic project includes: office spaces, residential apartments, retail spaces and a hyper link to a new underground infra-structural hub.
China has the world longest High Speed Rail (HSR) network that connects the entire country from north to south and from east to west. In the city of Harbin, the new West Train Station will become the northern China gateway connecting to China’s major cities with daily high-speed links to Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Harbin West Station is a transportation hub linked with the high-speed train station, Subway and Bus Station.The Kaishengyuan Towers take full advantage of sitting on a transportation hub not only connected to main cities in China but hyper-connected to Harbin City main infrastructure. Distances are shortening, fostering faster business transactions and promoting communication.
Sharing the same DNA – but positioned differently – the Twin Towers form a new icon for the Haxi Business Development Zone. The Towers creates a balanced relationship between empty and full, mass and void, private and public. Each tower creates a program specific dialogue with the site, with the north SoHo and Service Apartment tower atrium opening toward the Plaza, and the south Office Tower atrium oriented toward the Business District.
Working & Living
In response to Harbin’s extreme climate conditions, interior multi functional green terraces are injected into the upper atrium spaces promoting a high quality and healthy working environment for the office tower, and creating comfortable and climate controlled recreational terraces for the luxury residences.
The towers perform as the Digital Gate framing the city and station. The integrated media facades frame and activate the adjacent plaza promoting communication and social interaction between travellers, commuters and residents. The suspended microclimate atriums create a new typology of indoor spaces that promotes human interactions.
Location: Harbin, Haxi District, China
Program: Office, Residential, Retail, Parking and Landscape
Status: Design Proposal
Year: July, 2013
Client: Kaishengyuan Group
Architect: spatial practice
Partners in charge : Erik Amir, Dora Chi
Project Architect: Max Gerthel
Team: Calvin W. Liu, Cathal Peter Quinn, James Beadnall, Sarah GeXiaorui, Victor QuirosQuiros, Emily Wu
Local Architect: Harbin Institute of Technology
Structural Engineers: BuroHappold, Matthew Smith, Henry Li
Visualization: ADRI, German Glessner Group
Physical Model: Gereide Models Beijing
ON spatial practice:
spatial practice believes in greatness. We strive to realize desires and dreams.
spatial practice is an accumulation of ideas, people and circumstances. We believe that true design is about bringing order into complexity – a dynamic complexity – the essential feature of human beings, a culture, or a society.
spatial practice is formed by Dora Chi & Erik Amir as a collaborative international office for architecture, urbanism and design. Previous to opening spatial practice, we collectively have worked for some of the best and creative architects in the world including I.M. Pei, Rem Koolhaas, Norman Foster, Michael Arad, Jean Nouvel, and Rafael Vinoly. Projects include several residential towers in Taiwan; iconic towers in Harbin West Rail Station master plans in China and Taiwan; eco-spine twin towers in Beijing CBD; a maritime and pop center in Kaohsiung; a mixed use urban redevelopment complex in Parramatta, Australia; an arts center in Maribor, Slovenia; a renovation of a corporate headquarters in Beijing; several fashion showrooms and boutiques in Paris; an interactive installation for Montblanc in Beijing; private residences in Beijing and Israel; among others.
Erik Amir is an Israeli, DPLG ( (FR) registered architect. He began his academic venture at Politecnico di Milano (Italy), continued to Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris La Villette for a Master of Architecture, and then to the United States at Georgia Institute of Technology receiving a Master of Science. His work has been recognized and awarded by the Emerging New York Architects Committee, AIA-NY and the French Institute for Architecture. Erik previously worked with Michael Arad on the World Trade Center Memorial for the victims of 9-11 in New York. He started his collaboration with Rem Koolhaas at OMA New-York and continued to Beijing to participate on prestigious international projects in Taipei, Tianjin and Shenzhen. He is a visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.
Dora Chi is an American, New York State registered Architect and LEED accredited professional; she received her Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University. Her passion for sustainably built environments has her advocating the realization of ecological design. She was awarded with research grants from Cornell University and the American Institute of Architects to conduct research on massive urbanization in China. Previous experiences with I.M. Pei Architect, Handel Architects, and Foster and Partners include prestigious international projects ranging from large scale high-end residential buildings, international cultural and mixed-use buildings in the United States, Middle East, and Asia.